Barbados Labour Party leader Owen Arthur last night accused the DLP of flouting broadcast provisions governing the way participants communicate with the electorate during election campaigns.
Speaking during BLP national meeting at Redman’s Village, the former Prime Minister told the audience there was a problem with the DLP administration granting itself an FM radio licence “to have their own radio station to do political broadcasts”.
“The licence given by the Democratic Labour Party to itself with the accompanying frequencies for the purpose of broadcasting their political meetings is in breach of the law governing political broadcasting during an election period,” he said.
“The law sets out certain rules that must apply to how political parties can access the airwaves during an election season in respect of political broadcasts and that these things are vested in the Electoral and Boundaries Commission and we have had to follow the rules.”
Arthur said the BLP, as the opposition party heading in the poll, was granted two broadcasts on radio and television, while the DLP was allowed two, and there were no provisions for a radio station of the type the DLP had launched.
“If a political party can come during the course of an election itself and break the law in respect of how that election itself must be conducted, then I say that we are on a certain course to social anarchy in this country,” he said.
“They are not even hiding now. The law says one thing and the Democratic Labour Party says ‘we do not have to respect the law’, and it is a law about how elections and election broadcasts are to be undertaken.
“Now when you start playing with these things the question really must begin to arise eventually, what kind of society are we going to eventually inherit in this country?
Barbados is on a brink, a dangerous, dangerous brink and it is not just an economic brink, but it is a brink that can lead us to social anarchy,” he added. Last week as he announced the new station, DLP General Secretary George Pilgrim said: “For the last seven days of the campaign we will be launching our Dems Again 93.9 FM radio station, at which the listeners will have another medium by which to tune in to our meetings and we will be using it on Friday night for the first time at our launch.”
“We applied and were granted permission for a radio station and we will be using the radio station in the last seven days of our campaign.
“It’s really for the purpose of our meetings so we are saying to persons that there is another medium by which they can tune in.
“You are not going to have an announcer all during the day on 93.9, it’s for transmitting our meetings. We will announce to the public what meetings we are going to transmit so we will be transmitting two meetings at night,” he said. (SC)